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United States House of Representatives election in Vermont, At-large district, 1988
← 1986 November 8, 1988 1990 →
  Peter Plympton Smith.jpg Bernie Sanders 104th Congress.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Peter Plympton Smith Bernie Sanders Paul N. Poirier
Party Republican Independent Democratic
Popular vote 98,937 90,026 45,330
Percentage 41.21% 37.50% 18.88%

At-large before election

Jim Jeffords

Elected Representative

Peter Plympton Smith

The 1988 United States House of Representatives election in Vermont was held on Tuesday, November 8, 1988 to elect the U.S. Representative from the state's at-large congressional district. The election coincided with the elections of other federal and state offices, including a quadrennial presidential election and an election to the U.S. Senate. As of 2016, this is the last time that a Republican won Vermont's House seat.

Republican primary[edit]

Republican primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Peter Plympton Smith 37,230 77.60
Republican David Gates 9,964 20.77
Republican Write-ins 784 1.63
Total votes 47,978 100.00

Democratic primary[edit]

Democratic primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Paul N. Poirier 11,024 33.98
Democratic Peter Welch 10,758 33.16
Democratic James A. Guest 8,301 25.58
Democratic Dolores Sandoval 2,131 6.57
Democratic Write-ins 231 0.71
Total votes 32,445 100.00

Libertarian primary[edit]

Libertarian primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Jim Hedbor 80 84.21
Libertarian Write-ins 15 15.79
Total votes 95 100.00

Liberty Union primary[edit]

Liberty Union primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberty Union Peter Diamondstone 124 92.54
Liberty Union Write-ins 10 7.46
Total votes 134 100.00

General election[edit]

Vermont's At-large congressional district election, 1988[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Peter Plympton Smith 98,937 41.21
Independent Bernie Sanders[3] 90,026 37.50
Democratic Paul N. Poirier 45,330 18.88
Libertarian Jim Hedbor 3,109 1.29
Liberty Union Peter Diamondstone 1,455 0.61
Small is Beautiful Morris Earle 1,070 0.44
Write-ins N/A 161 0.07
Total votes 240,088 100.00
Republican hold


  1. ^ a b c d "1988 Primary Election Results" (PDF). Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  2. ^ "United States Representative (One District): 1932-2014" (PDF). Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ Friday, March 11, 1988, Bernard Sanders, 46, now in his fourth term as Burlington's mayor, holds a Montpelier news conference to announce he will run for the U.S. House seat held by Rep. James Jeffords, R-Vt., who in turn is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Robert T. Stafford, R-Vt. "The state of Vermont has a history of sending unconventional representatives, mavericks, to Washington," Sanders says. "Over 40 years ago, we sent George Aiken there."


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